It’s not a ‘defense’ of Alex Jones to argue that we’re on a slippery slope of internet censorship

Wednesday, August 8, 2018
By Paul Martin

Danielle Ryan
RT.com
8 Aug, 2018

The celebration on the Left at the quick-fire purge of Alex Jones and InfoWars from social media has been disturbing — not because Jones’ views deserve to be defended, but because his banning is a warning shot against dissent.
It’s important to note at the outset that I have no love for Jones whatsoever — lest this be read as some kind of endorsement or defense of InfoWars. It is not.

When you hound the parents of dead children and promote the theory that inter-dimensional “lizard people” are secretly running the world, you relinquish the right to be taken seriously by a lot of people.

But this is not about Alex Jones or what he believes. It is about the fact that the Left has willfully decided that massive corporations, working hand-in-glove with government agencies, as we know they do, should be the arbiters of truth and should hold the power to decide what we see, hear, read and believe.

Normalizing censorship

Just a few days before the Jones ban, journalist Matt Taibbi wrote a piece in Rolling Stone about the slippery slope of Facebook censorship. These corporations, he said, have their hands on what is “essentially a direct lever” over nationwide news distribution. “It’s hard to understate the potential mischief that lurks behind this union of Internet platforms and would-be government censors,” he wrote.

Make no mistake: The US government has the power to exert massive, indirect control over speech and political discourse through social networks — and anyone who argues that Alex Jones is some kind of special case, obviously has not been paying attention. Jones is simply an easy target — a good, high-profile test case, so to speak.

But the rush to stamp out or ridicule dissenting voices goes far beyond extremists like Jones. To understand how ingrained the distaste for any kind of dissent has become in American political discourse, consider the fact that, this week, actress Alyssa Milano suggested that people who voted for the Green Party in a special election in Ohio were actually part of a Russian meddling campaign. There was no other legitimate reason to vote Green, she said. Remember, conspiracy theories are just fine if the targets are deemed acceptable by the establishment.

This neo-McCarthyism has been steadily creeping back into the mainstream for years, but gathered steam with the election of Donald Trump and the onset of Russiagate, which has gripped American political discourse now for the better part of two years. Once-skeptical “liberals” are suddenly in thrall to the benevolent “intelligence community” and are more than happy to brand as a traitor to America anyone who questions its power and innate goodness.

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